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Motorcoach Drivers and Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security Issues Security Guidelines

In the post 9/11 era, security in public transportation has been taken to a new level of consciousness. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued multiple strategies for passenger motorcoach drivers, because the driver may make all the difference in recognizing and controlling threats.
Monitoring Suspicious Activities / Items
By staying alert and aware at all times, drivers can play a role in our homeland defense team. DHS"s Transportation Security Administration suggests that you monitor and observe people, events, activities, and items around you and take careful note of irregular or suspicious behavior or happenings.
Look for people who:
  • Are not where they are supposed to be (restricted area, etc.);
  • Look lost and/or wandering around;
  • Appear to be conducting unusual surveillance (using video cameras, taking photos, etc.);
  • Cause disruptions or intentionally distracting behavior;
  • Show an unusual interest in employees;
  • Abandon an item and leave the area quickly;
  • Openly possess a weapon and/or dangerous item; and/or
  • Use a vehicle in a suspicious way (parking, erratic driving, following, etc.).
Identifying a suspect should not be based on national origin, ethnicity, color, race, gender, or age.
Look for items or devices that:
  • Were abandoned and left in the open;
  • Were abandoned and hidden;
  • Appear to be suspicious or dangerous, such as a canister, tank, metal box, bottle, etc.;
  • Have an attached message;
  • Appear to be emitting a mist, gas, vapor, or odor;
  • Seem to have seepage or leakage of a suspicious substance;
  • Are connected to wires, timers, tanks or bottles; and/or
  • Appear to be the source of a foreign substance that is causing people to cough, have trouble breathing, feel nauseated, lose consciousness, or have any other medical condition.
Evacuating the Motorcoach
If evacuation is necessary and possible, protect your passengers and yourself from danger or risk of injury by:
  • Shutting down the vehicle in a safe location;
  • Relocating passengers a minimum of 300 feet upwind and upgrade of the vehicle;
  • Prohibiting use of cellular telephones within 50 feet of the vehicle or suspicious device (if applicable);
  • Taking any onboard communication devices with you, if possible; and
  • Waiting for assistance and direction.
For more guidelines and suggestions, visit the Transportation Security Administration"s website at
By Chris Navarro
Get Bus Driver Jobs, Contributing Editor

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